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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have an idea to add something to an existing product that

Customer Question

I have an idea to add something to an existing product that I think is a needed addition. What is the simplist way to present my idea and protect my idea to an existing company?
I have an idea for another product as well. I wouldn't want to just tell the company or manufacturer my idea as they could steal it or claim they already have it in the works. I don't have much money for an attorney but do think my ideas would be hot sellers.
Thanks!
Kathy
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

You would have to get an employee of the company with signature authority to enter into a "nondisclosure" agreement with you. To be frank, this is nearly impossible to accomplish, because it exposes the company to far too much liability, in case someone in the company has already come up with a similar idea which has yet to be released to the public. By agreeing to your nondisclosure, you could then prevent the company from releasing the product, because you would have taken the possibilty "off the table," so to speak.

 

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, if you have a great idea, find investors and do-it-yourself!

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How do you do it yourself if it's someone else's product.   I feel like I've been given an answer that isn't an answer. As in it's an impossible thing to do with the company so hence go do something that I already know that needs to be done. But how is the question? The investors could say no and then steal your idea. I'm asking how to protect an idea for an improvement on an already exsisting product. For example I'll use the example another person used which is an improvement to a razor by adding double razors or adding the aloe strip on a razor. How did that idea get to market?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

Okay, no problem.

 

There are a thousand free and for-purchase nondisclosure agreements (NDA in the trade) available online. You can google them just by typing in "non disclosure agreement." However, any large company will insist on their own agreement. So, you can call the company up and ask to speak to someone in marketing or creative development, and try to convince them to see you.

 

The problem is that they won't want to see you until you tell them what you've got, and you can't tell them what you've got unless they want to see you!

 

Anyway, most new creative inspirations are rejected. Hewlett Packard told Steve Wozniak, the inventor of the Apple One computer, that they weren't interested, and he was an employee. So, he and Steve Jobs started building them in their garage.

 

Similarly, Bill Gates started Microsoft by developing a simple Basic language interpreter that would fit on a microchip. But, the only reason why IBM purchased the child, was because Bill Gate's dad was a corporate attorney with connections -- otherwise Billy would never have even gotten past the front door.

 

Philo Farnsworth was the inventor of the color TV.He was an employee of RCA. They stole his invention, and it took him nearly his entire life to get any money for it. He died in relative poverty.

 

Razor blades, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razor.

 

If you research the subject for a while, you will quickly discover that it is almost NEVER the case that someone obscure from outside of a large company comes in and convinces the company to purchase an idea. The only place that happens is in the movies.

 

Not trying to burst your bubble, but if you've got something good that absolutely depends on an existing product, then it's highly unlikely that you will be able to engage the manufacturer without someone else who is connected in the company.

 

Anyway, I realize that I'm not helping you here. BotXXXXX XXXXXne: a "nondisclosure agreement "is what you want.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the link to razors didn't help at all and the other two answers are readily available on the internet. I am looking for a solution not someone to shoot down the idea. I already know they can claim they may have the same idea in the works. I'm looking for how to do what I want to do not how I won't be able to do what I want to do. Others have done it I wondered how.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

The world is filled with legends of amazing business feats. Almost without exception, each one is just that: a legend.

 

I will make you a gentleperson's bet: you will never find a company willing to purchase your idea, unless it is a very small company with nothing to lose.

 

And, with that, I will opt out and perhaps another expert will have a better idea for you.

 

I wish you the very best of luck.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The world is full of products that are betterments of previous products. How is this possible if only large corporations run everything? The first Bic Razor to electric razors? People invented the electric razor. All new razors on the market aren't owned by one company. My idea is not a razor but it's an example of what I mean. I think you didn't see the bottom of my first question where I said I've done some searching on the internet for initial answers.
I do thank you for your time in giving me some kind of answer but it didn't really answer my question.
Thanks and good luck to you in this endeavor.
Sincerely,
Kathy
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

You're welcom and good luck.

 

Plese DO NOT respond to this post -- otherwise your question will go back into my inbox, instead of reaching other experts who may be interested.

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